Bautista-Whitaker Named PCOM Georgia's Student DO of the YearFebruary 17, 2022
Jaymi Bautista-Whitaker (DO ’22) has been named PCOM Georgia’s Student DO of the Year
based on her leadership, commitment to community service, dedication to the profession,
professionalism and embodiment of the osteopathic philosophy. The award is presented annually to a student who distinguishes themselves among
their peers. The selection committee was made up of students and faculty members led
by DO Council President Alex Christianson.
Sponsored by the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents, which is affiliated
with the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the competition
includes naming the National Student DO of the Year at the AACOM annual meeting in
Currently Bautista-Whitaker serves as one of four leaders of the Atlanta Foothills
Rotation Site for PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia students. Among other activities,
she has served as the 2020-2021 DO Council President, the Wellness Committee Director
for the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents, and the co-founder of
the Pachacutec Project in Lima and Ventanilla, Peru.
Bautista-Whitaker has volunteered for many causes in the past two years. She has provided
sideline medical coverage for the Georgia High School Association football state championship,
worked as a volunteer for Student Docs for Shocks and various COVID relief efforts, and given high school sports physicals. She also
serves as a panelist for the Advocacy for Medical Students with Families organization
at PCOM Georgia, which discusses how to balance professional school with a family.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Gainesville, Florida. I went to the University of Maryland where I played
softball and majored in philosophy. I went back home after college and began my post-baccalaureate
at the University of Florida. Obviously, from playing softball all my life, I am a
huge softball fan. My husband works at the Braves stadium, so we are also baseball
enthusiasts. However, my biggest "interest" outside of school is my family—my husband,
Hunter, and my two boys, Webb (3) and Zeke (1). They are really what keeps me going
through medical school. I could not do any of this without their love and support.
What kind of clubs/organizations are you involved in? Describe your leadership experience
and other ways you have distinguished yourself among your classmates.
I am probably most proud of my DO Council presidency during peak COVID. I started
my term March 1, 2020, and school went entirely virtual after March 13, 2020. Trying
to manage and lead an entire program from behind a computer is difficult and not ideal.
I was so thankful for all of my executive board and class chairs and reps for their
shared passion and for making a tough time so memorable.
What does this selection as the Student DO of the Year from your campus mean to you?
Being Student DO of the Year means a lot to me. I am not shy about my story—about
having to take a year off after having my first child in medical school. Taking a
leave from school was really a low point for me—being away from my classmates and
friends and putting my career on pause. I made sure that when I returned, I wanted
to make the most of it. I am beyond grateful and humbled for this award.
What advice would you give to prospective DOs coming behind you?
To incoming DO students: I am going to tell you what my husband told me every day
first and second year of medical school, and that is, "Don't give into the hype,"
meaning that everyone around you is doing something, and just because you aren't doing
that same something does not mean that you aren't doing enough. You are more than
enough—that is why you are here. Find what you are good at, what makes you different,
and just go with it.
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About PCOM Georgia
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM
Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service
to the wider community. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center,
an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment.
For more information, visit pcomgeorgiahealth.org.
For more information, contact:
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